Embryoscopy is the direct visualization of the embryo between 5 and 8 weeks' gestational age. Fetoscopy is the direct visualization of the fetus after 8 weeks of gestation. Both are performed by inserting a fiber-optic scope, either transabdominally or transcervically, into the extracelomic space when the procedure is done before 11 weeks or inside the amniotic cavity when it is done after 11 weeks. Embryofetoscopy is likely to find applications in confirming and further clarifying our knowledge of embryonic development and in the prenatal investigation of high-risk pregnancies for recurrent genetic disorders. Further evolution of endoscopic instruments and embryoscopic technique could give embryofetoscopy a potential for early gene and cell therapy as well as for surgery in utero. We also present our preliminary experience using transcervical embryoscopy for direct visualization of the 1st-trimester embryo in women opting to terminate pregnancy.
- Antenatal diagnosis